An article from 2010 that is just as relevant today.

By Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY
August 13, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will release the names and roles of retired generals and admirals it hires to advise the military, the No. 2 Defense official announced today in an opinion piece in USA TODAY.

As late as Monday, the Pentagon had considered shielding the names of its “senior mentors” and their roles in consulting active-duty commanders on war games and other exercises.

Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn called release of the information “a step toward transparency.”

“We believe that these steps address previous concerns about how the program was administered,” he wrote.

A USA TODAY investigation found that the mentor program had been run largely unregulated for years.

MILITARY MENTORS: Pentagon revises rules

Many retired officers were hired by defense contractors and thus were not subject to government ethics rules preventing conflicts of interest.

The services did not have to identify them, and many mentors made hundreds of dollars per hour while collecting six-figure pensions. Of the 158 retired generals and admirals identified as mentors, 80% had financial ties to defense contractors, including 29 who were full-time executives of defense industry companies.

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